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i86        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

sympathize with the demand for the reform of Church govern-
ment, and some of them (of whom Erasmus was the most notable)
worked hard to bring about the reform from within.  But the forces
of criticism and the yearning for change which humanism had
called into being were not to be restrained within the limits
that sober-minded scholars would have imposed on them;   and
the younger generation of humanists only needed the lead of
Luther to turn the movement into a revolution that ended in
the splitting of Christendom into two opposing hosts.   In that
convulsion not only humanism but all forms of education received
a severe blow.   This, indeed, was almost inevitable.   In the first
place, the antagonism against the Church produced an antagonism
against the institutions of learning which were directly or in-
directly under its jurisdiction.   In many cases, the endowments
of schools were confiscated by the rulers and princes who favoured
the Reformation cause, and the schools were shut up, sometimes
never to be re-opened.   In other cases, where less drastic action
was taken, the devastation caused by the peasants' war produced
such a serious diminution in the number of scholars and students
that their usefulness was badly impaired.   In the second place,
intensity of religious conviction obscured all other considerations
among narrow-minded sections of the reformers, like the Ana-
baptists, and brought all culture under their condemnation as
the root of the evils in Church and State.   To the worldy wisdom
that comes through learning they opposed the spiritual know-
ledge that comes from faith.  The saner men among the reformers,
it is true, did not accept this view.    Men like Luther and
Melanchthon had the scholarly interest and were acutely conscious
of the need of learning for the newly created Church.   But even
in their case, the acerbities of controversy tended to produce
some measure of opposition to learning.    Not only did they
condemn the existing universities and schools as " asses' stalls
and devils' schools "—to quote Luther's intolerant language—
but they came into conflict with moderate humanists like Erasmus,
who, while agreeing as to the necessity for reform, had refused
to follow them all the way into Protestantism.   It was not without
cause that Erasmus complained that where Luther's doctrines
prevailed scholarship was neglected.   The fault, indeed, was not
altogether Luther's: in part, at least, it was the unavoidable
result of the confusion into which the Reformation had thrown